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Topic - Cultural and creative industries

Cultural and creative industries

Introduction

Spanning a wide range of different fields ranging from architecture and music to advertising, the cultural and creative industries are an exciting sector of business. People working in the industry include freelance artists and creative minds and art dealers, agents and gallery-owners who have set up micro-enterprises.

The cultural and creative industries are, of course, characterised by creative minds creating things. Be they authors or film-makers, representatives of the visual or performing arts, architects, designers or developers of computer games – all these people stand for quality, cultural diversity, and creative renewal. At the same time, they also help build a fast-growing, innovative and knowledge-based economy.

In fact, the cultural and creative industries are among the fastest-growing industries in the global economy. For them to remain so, the sector needs to become more competitive and income opportunities of innovative small cultural businesses and freelance artists need to improve. This is why in 2007, the Federal Government launched the Cultural and Creative Industries Initiative. The initiative is coordinated by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy and the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media.

Four figures on the cultural and creative industries

154
Banknote-icon

billion euros
is the industry’s estimated annual turnover

1,6
Symbolicon für Menschen

approx. million people
work in the cultural and creative industries

253
Symbolicon für Schreibtisch

approx. thousand
freelancers and commercial companies belong to the sector

3.1
Symbolicon für Tortendiagramm

percent
is the share of gross domestic product contributed by the sector (2016)

Sector at a glance

A creative sector with huge potential

Since the late 1980s, the cultural and creative industries have turned into one of the most dynamic sectors in the global economy. Estimates show that they added nearly €99 billion to the German economy in 2016. This means that, for the first time, the sector has outstripped key economic sectors like the chemical industry, energy suppliers and financial services.

The cultural and creative industries comprise all cultural and creative enterprises that mostly work for profit and produce and/or disseminate cultural or creative products and services. The definition does not cover companies, institutions or associations that rely on public-sector financing.

The German government publishes an annual Monitoring Report (PDF, 3MB) keeping track of the latest changes in the industry as part of its Cultural and Creative Industries Initiative. In 2016, there were more than one million people in Germany working in the cultural and creative industries, of whom more than 253,000 were freelancers or commercial entrepreneurs and around 864,000 were employees subject to social-security contributions. In 2016, the number of employees subject to social-security contributions rose by an estimated 3.5 per cent. This means that nearly 100,000 new jobs subject to the payment of social security contributions have been created in the last four years. The total number of people working in the industry, including those in minor employment, was higher than 1.6 million in 2016. There was a total of 253,200 companies in the cultural and creative industries, generating combined turnover of more than €154 billion.

Diagrams on cultural and creative industries

The cultural and creative industries initative

Fostering competitive and dynamic creative industries in Germany

The Cultural and Creative Industries Initiative was launched by the German government and seeks to give the sector a competitive edge and to help create even more jobs. In addition to this, innovative small cultural businesses and freelance artists are to be given better opportunities for making money.

The Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy is using the Cultural and Creative Industries Initiative sto support the sector in many different ways. The government seeks to give the cultural and creative industries what it takes for them to be able to establish themselves as a distinctive sector, and to withstand competitive pressure. At the same time, the government would like to foster stronger business networks within the sector itself.

  • It has initiated a network open for all stakeholders, which is to be used to disseminate information about potential sources of funding and to support start-ups in the industry.
  • Beyond this, the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy wants to adjust the programmes it has launched as part of its economic and technology policies to be able to provide more funding to cultural and creative businesses.
  • Access to credit for freelancers and small businesses in the sector is to be facilitated.
  • Cultural and creative businesses are also to gain better access to the ministry’s foreign trade promotion policies, which will make it easier for them to showcase themselves abroad.
  • The German Artists’ Social Security Fund is to be upheld and its services stabilised for the future.
  • The government also wants to adjust digital copyright law to restore the right balance between the respective rights of copyright holders and users.

The German Government’s Centre of Excellence for the Cultural and Creative Industries

Since 2016, the Federal Government’s Centre of Excellence for the Cultural and Creative Industries has been promoting cooperation between the creative industries and other sectors. The centre advertises the innovative potential of the creative industries and operates platforms for networking. Its purpose is to highlight the importance of the cultural and creative industries as a sector of its own and as a driver of innovation.

Cultural and Creative Pioneers in Germany

There is enormous creative potential in cultural and creative professionals for both business and society. To make this visible, the Cultural and Creative Industries Initiative has created the cultural and creative pioneer in Germany award. The title distinguishes people who want to launch a business based on a special creative or cultural idea. For more information about the competition, please click here (in german).

German Motion Picture Fund

Promoting digital filmmaking

The Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) is also promoting the innovative capacities and competitiveness of the German film industry. It has therefore established the "German Motion Picture Fund" (GMPF).

The Federal Government uses the GMPF in order to provide funding for innovative film and serial formats with high production costs and for digital film-making in Germany. Funding has been provided for projects including ‘Berlin Station’, a spy series, the ‘Babylon Berlin’ series set in Berlin in the 1920s, and for ‘You are wanted’, the first German series produced for the Amazon Prime streaming service.

The concept underpinning this funding is to promote film-making in Germany and to give it a competitive edge over other European countries. For this purpose, the GMPF provides a total annual funding volume of 10 million euros. At the same time, the funding provided by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy helps strengthen SMEs in the film business and safeguard the quality and diversity of German films.

New funding guidelines from December 2017

In order to provide even more targeted funding to bolster Germany’s innovative capacities and competitiveness as a centre for films and series, the funding guidelines were updated on 15 December 2017 to meet the current needs of innovative digital film-making in Germany. In addition to high-end series and high-budget cinematic films, the GMPF is now also funding high-budget films which are not intended for cinematic release (i.e. video-on-demand films). Funding will also be given to VFX (visual effects) and other digital film operations. The programme is managed by the German Federal Film Board (FFA).

Click here for a list of all the projects that have received funding so far, and for accessing the relevant guidelines and forms.

Museum Brandhorst depicted to symbolise the cultural and creative industries; Quelle: iStock.com/tichr